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In New York City, a multi-disciplinary Mass Casualty Consultation team is proposed to support prioritization of patients for coordinated inter-facility transfer after a large-scale mass casualty event. This study examines factors that influence consultation team prioritization decisions.
As part of a multi-hospital functional exercise, 2 teams prioritized the same set of 69 patient profiles. Prioritization decisions were compared between teams. Agreement between teams was assessed based on patient profile demographics and injury severity. An investigator interviewed team leaders to determine reasons for discordant transfer decisions.
The 2 teams differed significantly in the total number of transfers recommended (49 vs 36; P = 0.003). However, there was substantial agreement when recommending transfer to burn centers, with 85.5% agreement and inter-rater reliability of 0.67 (confidence interval: 0.49–0.85). There was better agreement for patients with a higher acuity of injuries. Based on interviews, the most common reason for discordance was insider knowledge of the local community hospital and its capabilities.
A multi-disciplinary Mass Casualty Consultation team was able to rapidly prioritize patients for coordinated secondary transfer using limited clinical information. Training for consultation teams should emphasize guidelines for transfer based on existing services at sending and receiving hospitals, as knowledge of local community hospital capabilities influence physician decision-making.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a planned large radio interferometer designed to operate over a wide range of frequencies, and with an order of magnitude greater sensitivity and survey speed than any current radio telescope. The SKA will address many important topics in astronomy, ranging from planet formation to distant galaxies. However, in this work, we consider the perspective of the SKA as a facility for studying physics. We review four areas in which the SKA is expected to make major contributions to our understanding of fundamental physics: cosmic dawn and reionisation; gravity and gravitational radiation; cosmology and dark energy; and dark matter and astroparticle physics. These discussions demonstrate that the SKA will be a spectacular physics machine, which will provide many new breakthroughs and novel insights on matter, energy, and spacetime.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
Purpose: Older adults have an increased likelihood of requiring rehabilitative care due to cognitive and physical risk factors. Research has found a link between executive functioning performance and functional outcomes; however, there is a dearth of research on the assessment of judgement ability. In the current pilot study, we investigated the clinical utility of the Test of Practical Judgment (TOP-J) in an older adult rehabilitation sample.
Methods: Inpatients of mixed diagnoses (n = 25, mean age = 72.60) completed the TOP-J and Functional Independence Measure (FIM). We assessed TOP-J performance in the entire sample and in those with intact vs. impaired global cognition (on the Mini-Mental State Examination; MMSE). Correlational analyses were conducted between the TOP-J, MMSE and relevant FIM items.
Results: TOP-J performance fell between the means typically observed in individuals with mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer's disease. Participants with intact global cognition obtained significantly higher TOP-J scores than those with impaired global cognition. Moderate to strong positive correlations emerged between TOP-J, MMSE and FIM items of problem solving, comprehension and memory.
Conclusions: Results provide support for the clinical utility and validity of the TOP-J among older adults in the rehabilitation setting. Administering the TOP-J may help identify patients at risk for future injury and facilitate role transitions.
Few studies have examined the challenges faced by emergency medicine (EM) physicians in conducting goals of care discussions. This study is the first to describe the perceived barriers and facilitators to these discussions as reported by Canadian EM physicians and residents.
A team of EM, palliative care, and internal medicine physicians developed a survey comprising multiple choice, Likert-scale and open-ended questions to explore four domains of goals-of-care discussions: training; communication; environment; and patient beliefs.
Surveys were sent to 273 EM staff and residents in six sites, and 130 (48%) responded. Staff physicians conducted goals-of-care discussions several times per month or more, 74.1% (80/108) of the time versus 35% (8/23) of residents. Most agreed that goals-of-care discussions are within their scope of practice (92%), they felt comfortable having these discussions (96%), and they are adequately trained (73%). However, 66% reported difficulty initiating goals-of-care discussions, and 54% believed that admitting services should conduct them. Main barriers were time (46%), lack of a relationship with the patient (25%), patient expectations (23%), no prior discussions (21%), and the inability to reach substitute decision-makers (17%). Fifty-four percent of respondents indicated that the availability of 24-hour palliative care consults would facilitate discussions in the emergency department (ED).
Important barriers to discussing goals of care in the ED were identified by respondents, including acuity and lack of prior relationship, highlighting the need for system and environmental interventions, including improved availability of palliative care services in the ED.
We report seven cases of probable endotoxin poisoning linked to contaminated compounded glutathione. Five of the cases were using the infusions for treatment of Lyme disease highlighting the risks of using compounded sterile preparations for unapproved indications, especially if the quality of source products cannot be assured.
Innovative evidence-based interventions are needed to equip research mentors with skills to address cultural diversity within research mentoring relationships. A pilot study assessed initial outcomes of a culturally tailored effort to create and disseminate a novel intervention titled Culturally Aware Mentoring (CAM) for research mentors.
Intervention development resulted in 4 products: a 6 hour CAM training curriculum, a facilitator guide, an online pretraining module, and metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of CAM training.
Participants were 64 research mentors from 3 US research-intensive universities. Quantitative pretraining and posttraining evaluation survey data were collected.
Participants found high value and satisfaction with the CAM training, reported gains in personal cultural awareness and cultural skills, and increased intentions and confidence to address cultural diversity in their mentoring.
Study findings indicate that the CAM training holds promise to build research mentors’ capacity and confidence to engage directly with racial/ethnic topics in research mentoring relationships.
The Zika virus was largely unknown to many health care systems before the outbreak of 2015. The unique public health threat posed by the Zika virus and the evolving understanding of its pathology required continuous communication between a health care delivery system and a local public health department. By leveraging an existing relationship, NYC Health+Hospitals worked closely with New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to ensure that Zika-related processes and procedures within NYC Health+Hospitals facilities aligned with the most current Zika virus guidance. Support given by the public health department included prenatal clinical and laboratory support and the sharing of data on NYC Health+Hospitals Zika virus screening and testing rates, thus enabling this health care delivery system to make informed decisions and practices. The close coordination, collaboration, and communication between the health care delivery system and the local public health department examined in this article demonstrate the importance of working together to combat a complex public health emergency and how this relationship can serve as a guide for other jurisdictions to optimize collaboration between external partners during major outbreaks, emerging threats, and disasters that affect public health. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:689-691)
We investigate single-fluid magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) with anisotropic viscosity, often referred to as Braginskii MHD, with a particular eye to solar coronal applications. First, we examine the full Braginskii viscous tensor in the single-fluid limit. We pay particular attention to how the Braginskii tensor behaves as the magnetic field strength vanishes. The solar corona contains a magnetic field with a complex and evolving topology, so the viscosity must revert to its isotropic form when the field strength is zero, e.g. at null points. We highlight that the standard form in which the Braginskii tensor is written is not suitable for inclusion in simulations as singularities in the individual terms can develop. Instead, an altered form, where the parallel and perpendicular tensors are combined, provides the required asymptotic behaviour in the weak-field limit. We implement this combined form of the tensor into the Lare3D code, which is widely used for coronal simulations. Since our main focus is the viscous heating of the solar corona, we drop the drift terms of the Braginskii tensor. In a stressed null point simulation, we discover that small-scale structures, which develop very close to the null, lead to anisotropic viscous heating at the null itself (that is, heating due to the anisotropic terms in the viscosity tensor). The null point simulation we present has a much higher resolution than many other simulations containing null points, so this excess heating is a practical concern in coronal simulations. To remedy this unwanted heating at the null point, we develop a model for the viscosity tensor that captures the most important physics of viscosity in the corona: parallel viscosity for strong fields and isotropic viscosity at null points. We derive a continuum model of viscosity where momentum transport, described by this viscosity model, has the magnetic field as its preferred orientation. When the field strength is zero, there is no preferred direction for momentum transport and viscosity reverts to the standard isotropic form. The most general viscous stress tensor of a (single-fluid) plasma satisfying these conditions is found. It is shown that the Braginskii model, without the drift terms, is a specialization of the general model. Performing the stressed null point simulation with this simplified model of viscosity reveals very similar heating profiles to those of the full Braginskii model. The new model, however, does not produce anisotropic heating at the null point, as required. Since the vast majority of coronal simulations use only isotropic viscosity, we perform the stressed null point simulation with isotropic viscosity and compare the heating profiles to those of the anisotropic models. It is shown that the fully isotropic viscosity can overestimate the viscous heating by an order of magnitude.
Efforts to address health disparities and achieve health equity are critically dependent on the development of a diverse research workforce. However, many researchers from underrepresented backgrounds face challenges in advancing their careers, securing independent funding, and finding the mentorship needed to expand their research.
Faculty from the University of Maryland at College Park and the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed and evaluated an intensive week-long research and career-development institute—the Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI)—with the goal of increasing the number of underrepresented scholars who can sustain their ongoing commitment to health equity research.
In 2010-2016, HELI brought 145 diverse scholars (78% from an underrepresented background; 81% female) together to engage with each other and learn from supportive faculty. Overall, scholar feedback was highly positive on all survey items, with average agreement ratings of 4.45-4.84 based on a 5-point Likert scale. Eighty-five percent of scholars remain in academic positions. In the first three cohorts, 73% of HELI participants have been promoted and 23% have secured independent federal funding.
HELI includes an evidence-based curriculum to develop a diverse workforce for health equity research. For those institutions interested in implementing such an institute to develop and support underrepresented early stage investigators, a resource toolbox is provided.
To examine the choices Canadian family medicine residents make for oral anticoagulation (OAC) for patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF).
AF increases the risk of strokes. An important consideration in AF management is risk stratification for stroke and prescription of appropriate OAC. Family physicians provide the vast majority of OAC prescriptions.
We administered a survey to residents in multiple Canadian family medicine training programmes. Questions explored the experiences and attitudes towards risk stratification and choices of OAC when presented with standardized clinical scenarios. In each scenario, a novel oral anticoagulant (NOAC) would be the preferred treatment according to the contemporary Canadian and European guidelines.
A total of 247 residents participated in the survey. Most used the congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥ 75, diabetes mellitus, stroke or TIA (2 points) (81%) and congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥ 75 (2 points) or age 65-74 (1 point), diabetes mellitus, stroke or TIA, vascular disease including peripheral arterial disease, myocardial infarction, or aortic plaque, sex (female) (67%) risk stratification schemes while the preferred bleeding risk stratification scheme was hypertension, abnormal liver or renal function, stroke, bleeding, labile international normalized ratio, elderly (age ≥ 65), drugs or alcohol (84%). In the clinical scenarios, residents generally preferred warfarin in favour of NOACs, independent of training level. Residents ranked the risk of adverse events and the cost to the patient as their most and least important consideration when prescribing OAC, respectively. Therefore in patients with nonvalvular AF, Canadian family medicine residents prefer warfarin in comparison with NOACs despite the latest Canadian and European guideline recommendations. This knowledge gap may be enhanced by multiple factors, including a sometimes magnified fear of adverse events and a rapidly changing landscape in stroke prophylaxis.
Introduction: Patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) may require clarification of their goals of care (GOC) to ensure they receive treatments aligned with their values. However, these discussions can be difficult to conduct for multiple reasons, including lack of time in a busy ED, competing priorities and a limited relationship with the patient. Few studies have examined the perceived challenges faced by Emergency Physicians in conducting GOC discussions. This study sought to contextualize and discern the barriers and facilitators to having these conversations as reported by Emergency physicians. Methods: An interdisciplinary team of Emergency Medicine, Palliative Care and Internal Medicine providers developed an online survey comprised of multiple choice, Likert-scale and open-ended questions to explore four domains of GOC discussions: training; communication; environment; and personal beliefs. Invitations and scheduled reminders were sent to 275 ED physicians at six academic sites in a Canadian urban centre, including 49 EM residents. Results: 105 (46%) staff physicians and 23 (47%) residents responded with similar representation from all sites. Differences were reported in the frequency of GOC discussions: 59% of staff physicians conduct several per month whereas 65% of residents conduct less than one per month. Most agreed that GOC discussions are within their scope of practice (92%), they feel comfortable (96%), and are adequately trained (73%) to have them; however, 66% reported difficulty initiating GOC discussions. 73% believed that admitting services should conduct GOC discussions, yet acuity was noted in the comments as a major determinant with initiating GOC discussions by ED physicians. Main barriers identified were lack of time, chaotic environment, lack of advanced directives and the inability to reach substitute decision makers. 54% of respondents indicated that the availability of 24-hour Palliative Care consults would facilitate GOC discussions in the ED. Conclusion: Emergency physicians are prepared to conduct goals of care discussions, but often believe they should instead be conducted by the patient’s admitting service. Multiple perceived barriers to goals of care discussion in the ED were identified, and a majority of respondents felt that the availability of Palliative Care in the ED may facilitate these discussions.
Entries in the burgeoning “text-as-data” movement are often accompanied by lists or visualizations of how word (or other lexical feature) usage differs across some pair or set of documents. These are intended either to establish some target semantic concept (like the content of partisan frames) to estimate word-specific measures that feed forward into another analysis (like locating parties in ideological space) or both. We discuss a variety of techniques for selecting words that capture partisan, or other, differences in political speech and for evaluating the relative importance of those words. We introduce and emphasize several new approaches based on Bayesian shrinkage and regularization. We illustrate the relative utility of these approaches with analyses of partisan, gender, and distributive speech in the U.S. Senate.
The world’s largest outbreak of Ebola virus disease began in West Africa in 2014. Although few cases were identified in the United States, the possibility of imported cases led US public health systems and health care facilities to focus on preparing the health care system to quickly and safely identify and respond to emerging infectious diseases. In New York City, early, coordinated planning among city and state agencies and the health care delivery system led to a successful response to a single case diagnosed in a returned health care worker. In this article we describe public health and health care system preparedness efforts in New York City to respond to Ebola and conclude that coordinated public health emergency response relies on joint planning and sustained resources for public health emergency response, epidemiology and laboratory capacity, and health care emergency management. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:370–374).
Provision of non-pharmacological interventions is a common policy objective for people with dementia, and support groups are an increasingly common intervention. However, there have been few attempts to synthesize evidence on the effectiveness of support groups for people with dementia. This review investigated the outcomes of support groups for people with dementia, explored participant characteristics and reviewed group formats.
A systematic review was undertaken and a narrative synthesis of data from 29 papers (reporting on 26 groups and a survey of a range of groups) was conducted.
Support groups seem acceptable to people with dementia. Qualitative studies report subjective benefits for participants but there is limited evidence of positive outcomes based on quantitative data. Samples have tended to be homogenous and this may limit the generalizability of findings.
Although qualitative studies will remain important in this area, further mixed-methods randomized controlled trials (RCTs)or comparison group studies with longer follow-up periods are needed to strengthen the evidence base.
We undertook a non-targeted lipidomics analysis of post-mortem cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), frontal cortex grey matter, and subjacent white matter to define potential biomarkers that distinguish cognitively intact subjects from those with incipient or established dementia. Our objective was to increase our understanding of the role of brain lipids in pathophysiology of aging and age-related cognitive impairment.
Levels of 650 individual lipids, across 26 lipid subclasses, were measured utilising a high-resolution mass spectrometric analysis platform.
Monoacylglycerols (MAG), diacylglycerols (DAG), and the very-long-chain fatty acid 26:0 were elevated in the grey matter of the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and old dementia (OD) cohorts. Ethanolamine plasmalogens (PlsEtn) were decreased in the grey matter of the young dementia (YD) and OD cohorts while and phosphatidylethanolamines (PtdEth) were lower in the MCI, YD and OD cohorts. In the white matter, decrements in sulphatide levels were detected in the YD group, DAG levels were elevated in the MCI group, and MAG levels were increased in the YD and OD groups.
The parallel changes in grey matter MAGs and DAGs in the MCI and OD groups suggest that these two cohorts may have a similar underlying pathophysiology; consistent with this, MCI subjects were more similar in age to OD than to YD subjects. While PlsEtn and phosphatidylethanolamine were decreased in the YD and OD groups they were unaltered in the MCI group indicating that alterations in plasmalogen synthesis are unlikely to represent an initiating event in the transition from MCI to dementia.